Great “Improve Money Rules In 50 Words” Hunt. What easy changes for our politicians

MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
Money Saving Expert
Jan 09 See the final guide and suggestions:
'50-words' MSE manifesto: Little changes for a big difference

Great “Improve Money Rules In 50 Words” Hunt.
What easy changes should our politicians make.

Politicians focus on big changes, but often it's the little things that could speedily be changed to make life better – many can be said in under 50 words.

We want your suggestions; a selection will be compiled, turned into a guide for all to read and sent to a selection of MPs for their views & published both here and (we hope) in the national media. Plus pls thank any posts you agree with.

An update letting you know when the full selections picked and published will be in the free weekly MoneySaving Email.

My example suggestions...

As an example here are some of mine, they include things we’ve already campaigned on as well as some new ones....
  • Legal right to fair Energy Direct Debits.

    While paying by direct debit is cheaper, you’ve no legal right to demand it's fair; meaning companies can up it willy-nilly. This should be stopped. See the Fight Energy Direct Debits guide.
  • Right to know the rate you’ll get before applications go on credit files.

    Apply for a product and it puts a search on your credit file which hits your credit score, yet many products are rate for risk, without applying you can’t know the rate. This vicious circle thats hurts comparing products should be stopped. See Credit Rating guide
  • Water Rates Should Be Challengable

    Unlike council tax where if your property is overvalued you can be rebanded (see council tax rebanding), water rates are now over twenty years old and haven't moved with the times. People need a right to challenge unfair water rates.
  • All phone companies must give option to know price/min at start.
    When you make a phone call, you should have the option to automatically be told the price per minute cost of the call at the start. Many override providers do this but not main stream companies, it makes things more transparent.
Please make your 50 word suggestions...

So now I want to know what yours are. We’re going to compile a selection into a document, publish it on the site and the weekly MoneySaving email (goes to 3m people including many influential opinion formers) and send it to scores of politicians and influential regulators to get their response.

To do it just click reply, please format it as follows

"A brief headline of what the measure is.
Then a longer description of the exact problem and how it should be dealt with. Keep it as practical as possible, so there is a definitive action. In total NO MORE than 50 words please."

Important extra notes...
  • Pls only suggestions, no discussion.
  • This is only on MoneySaving issues please.... all non MoneySaving/inappropriate suggestions will be deleted). Yet it can be finance, energy, telephones, shopping anything MoneySaving.
  • Max one suggestion per post. You can post more than once though
  • No duplication please. Do check no one else has suggested it
  • This is for practical simple changes that positively benefit everyday lives. Not have a go at politicians thread. It's for small, easy practical changes. So things like "freeze MPs pay" or "Rewrite the tax system from scratch" won't make it.
PLEASE THANK ANY SUGGESTIONS YOU AGREE WITH (requires you to be logged in)


UPDATE NOTE FRI 1 MAY 2009: Lib Dem Leader to Take Part...

Hopefully you'll be pleased to hear that dipping my toe in the water has paid off. Our first politician has agreed to read the final compiled list, and it's a party leader. the Rt Hon. Nick Clegg MP of the Lib Dems.... plus he sent one of his own (any other politicians reading this who want to add one or take part, please send me a PM with your email address and we'll add you)

Cheapest Energy Units should be the first
It’s unfair that the first energy units you use are the most expensive: it’s harder to save money by cutting back. The first units should be cheapest, so people who use least, pay least. But I’d protect any low income families who genuinely need lots of energy with lower “social tariffs”.

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at
Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000


  • angelflower_2
    angelflower_2 Posts: 2,426 Forumite
    Increase the lending age - short term solution whilst more financial teaching can be integrated into our schooling system to help with the long term problem.
    DFW 228 LONG H 68
    DFD 2017 :eek:
  • tomterm8
    tomterm8 Posts: 5,892
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 29 April 2009 at 5:24PM
    Credit Card repayments should go to the highest interest balance first. A lot of credit cards charge 10% difference between cash and product purchase. They assign repayment to the lower interest rate balance. This can unfairly prolong repayments for several years.
    “The ideas of debtor and creditor as to what constitutes a good time never coincide.”
    ― P.G. Wodehouse, Love Among the Chickens
  • Mar.cresham
    Mar.cresham Posts: 1,060 Forumite
    edited 29 April 2009 at 5:31PM
    I feel they need to do more for the singles over 25 that work under 30 hours. their living under the bread line. Alot of them would love to work more than the hours they do but just cant get the high contracts. So find life very hard. TAX CREDITS
    09 Wins= 5 Rugby balls, 3 Football. A cricket ball. 6 Books. A subway, A T.Shirt, 2 Durex Goody Bags, Beyonce tickets X 7 SETS A Magnum card. 2 glamour wins. Coffee, Jewellery. Moble Phone
    Be nice and hit Thanks
  • k2nga
    k2nga Posts: 1,375
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Every person should be allowed a basic bank account no matter what there credit or financial past. This has become a problem for those who have had to face bankruptcy.
    :cheesy: K2nga :cheesy:

    BSC Member 176
    BR 23/06/08
    ED 22/01/09
    Credit file BR fall off date: 24/06/14 :beer:
  • libra10
    libra10 Posts: 18,550
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    No income tax deducted from savings interest rates if earnings under a certain level (to be decided) per year.

    Income tax is deducted from salaries, most spending, including personal/company pensions, the money left over shouldn't also be taxed.
    Cash ISAs are great but don't go far enough.
  • ailuro2
    ailuro2 Posts: 7,535
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Help average wage earners with low interest government provided shared ownership mortgages to allow people to afford their own home.(20)

    Give free healthy school meals to all school children.(9)

    Low cost public transport for all, funded by reducing public sector pension contributions.(13)

    give Martin Lewis a knighthood (8)

    This sums up my best way of running the country in 50 words.:D
    Member of the first Mortgage Free in 3 challenge, no.19
    Balance 19th April '07 = minus £27,640
    Balance 1st November '09 = mortgage paid off with £1903 left over. Title deeds are now ours.
  • jellyhead
    jellyhead Posts: 21,555
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Make prescriptions free for everyone

    Or at least include asthma in the freebie list, sorry, bit of a selfish one!
    52% tight
  • blind-as-a-bat_2
    blind-as-a-bat_2 Posts: 4,304 Forumite
    edited 29 April 2009 at 5:58PM
    Financial industries should abide by a) the law and b) the terms of there licence, as defined by the OFT or be shut down.

    It should also be compulsory that all there staff understand the saying ‘you cant get blood out of a stone…….you don’t work for the tax office

    Bang on 50 words, according to M$ word, how freaky is that:confused::p:rotfl:
    Thats it, i am done, Blind-as-a-Bat has left the forum, for good this time, there is no way I can recover this account, as the password was random, and not recorded, and the email used no longer exits, nor can be recovered to recover the account, goodbye all …………. :(
  • Lensman_2
    Lensman_2 Posts: 1,506
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Improve regulation of the Debt Collection industry, by statute if necessary. A brief read of the DFW board will reveal an industry where the dereliction of OFT guidance and the law is endemic and systematic. The OFT can only work on a case by case basis, this makes improvement of the system impossible.
  • carolt
    carolt Posts: 8,531 Forumite
    edited 29 April 2009 at 6:02PM
    Credit cards/loans - lenders should ensure they are not lending to those who cannot afford to pay it back, after initial teaser rates - the UK's own version of sub-prime. Many NINJA's been solicited to take out 0% credit cards - income levels must be checked.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 341.4K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.1K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.7K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.8K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.4K Life & Family
  • 246.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards